Thursday 16 August 2018

Exciting Euro weekend on the horizon

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Noel Mannion

It's really exciting times for everybody in Leinster and Munster, writes Noel Mannion. It's a huge weekend of Champions Cup rugby ahead, and it would be great to see the Irish provinces set up an all-Irish final in Bilbao next month.

For Leinster and Scarlets, the Welsh will come to Dublin brimming with confidence despite last weekend's PRO14 hammering at Edinburgh. They are a very good side, well coached, and they have no fear of Dublin.

They famously beat Leinster at the RDS in last year's PRO12 semi-final. But this Leinster juggernaut looks unstoppable, and I can't see Scarlets beating them in another massive game like this.

Leinster have sensational depth at this stage and they are playing superb rugby. I also can't see Leinster being beaten in Dublin again this season.

Munster love the proposition that they have been given. Going to France, backs to the wall, and probably underdogs. With Racing 92, they face a team packed full of internationals, a team who are playing in their home country.

You would expect it to favour the French but Munster have the history and the huge support backing them. It will be a ding-dong battle.

But you never back against Munster, especially in Europe. If Racing turn it on, they could beat Munster; if they don't, it's there for the taking.

Irish Independent

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